Moroccan Spiced Mutton Chops
Gabriel headed out to the Halal butcher's and came back with a pound and a half of "lamb" chops for such a low price, something like $3 per pound or so. Well they're mighty big for lamb chops, looks like these sheep had rather full lives before they ended up on our table, so I'm going to play it safe and give them a good, strong, piquant spice rub so as to cover over any potential gaminess of the meat. Looking on the internet, I found a bunch of seemingly unadventurous spice rub mixes, so I've combined the spice rub pictured here out of my pantry with a vaguely Moroccan-Middle Eastern inspiration: For 1-1/2 pounds of chops: Starting at noon and going clockwise:
1/4 tsp sumac,
1/4 tsp coriander,
1/4 tsp Hungarian sweet paprika,
1/4 tsp cumin,
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper,
1/4 tsp black pepper and (in center)
1/8 tsp cinnamon.
To this, add 1/2 tsp salt
Rub this mixture all over the meat, place on a rack at the top 3rd of your oven at 400-450F, and bake for 20 minutes. Aside from thick clouds of smoke, you will have medium-cooked chops that are deliciously brown and crunchy on the edges. Gabriel's take on the spice rub? Reminds him of North African merguez sausage. I call that a hit.